Llangrove resident, Gareth Morgan, CEO of Ferret, a leading benefits advice company, is delighted that it has been shortlisted as one of 12 final entries in a ground-breaking national competition run by retirement income provider Just Group and the International Longevity Centre (ILC).

The company provides services to help the most vulnerable in society, particularly the elderly and disabled. Before starting Ferret, in 1988, Gareth worked for the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, he was also a trustee of Ross CAB and the Herefordshire CAB for many years before it closed.

The idea which has been shortlisted is a development of their advice tools for advisers, lawyers, Housing Associations etc. Ferret’s service aims to help the elderly, and those with disabilities, by providing them with information about their right to welfare benefits and to automatically tell them about changes that affect them. It offers a web and email system to help customers find out about the benefits they should be getting and then updates them about changes because of new rules or alterations in their circumstances.

The Innovating for Ageing competition was established in January 2018 by Just Group, with support from ILC, to identify innovative solutions to the most common, intractable problems faced by vulnerable people in later life. What is special about Ferret is that it aims to tell people what’s going to happen to them before they get hit by changes that they can’t cope with.

From the 77 submissions entered by policy experts, tech innovators and academic institutions, Ferret was identified as one of the 12 strongest entries. These 12 entries have pitched their service to an expert judging panel and will be hoping to reach the final five that will attend the Awards ceremony, to be hosted by the comedian and broadcaster David Baddiel in London in January.  

Gareth told the Ross Gazette that he is thrilled that the hard work of the team, and the system they have developed, is being recognised.

“We developed this idea over many years of helping people get the benefits that they have a right to, which can make an enormous difference in their day to day life.

“The ground-breaking new system makes it possible, for the first time, to let people know what’s going to change for them in the future.  That lets them prepare and plan for the changes that will affect them, instead of these changes coming as a shock that can cause enormous problems.